Hips, Thighs, Butt (6 Quick Slimmers)
by Maura Rhodes
Redbook Magazine, June 1997
pages 127 - 130
Gain a few pounds and it’s sure to settle on your hips, thighs, and buttocks. Even women who manage to stay or diet their way to a size 6 complain that their bottoms are too big, too wide, and, most of all, too jiggly. Unfortunately, no matter how much you weigh, there’s only one way to have firm hips and thighs: Tighten the underlying muscles through exercise.
With that in mind, we asked Los Angeles fitness trainer Keli Roberts, author of Fitness Hollywood, to come up with a quick, yet thorough hip, thigh, and buttocks workout. Her six-exercise routine takes only 15 minutes and is designed to tone, strengthen, and shape for a sleeker look.
To start, all you need is a sturdy chair to help you achieve perfect form. If you want faster results, try an elastic exercise band (available at sporting-goods stores). A band speeds toning by making your muscles work harder. Do the following exercises (in order, for the safest, most effective workout) three to four times a week on nonconsecutive days, and you’ll look and feel firmer in as few as three weeks.
1. Squats (for front of thighs, buttocks)
- Stand a few inches in front of a chair, facing away from it. Place your feet shoulder width apart, with toes pointing straight ahead or about 11 and 1 o’clock, hands on hips or outstretched in front of you if that’s more comfortable.
- Keeping your body straight (don’t lean forward too much) and feet flat on the floor, bend knees and slowly lower body toward the chair as if you were going to sit. Stop an inch or two above the seat and hold for a few seconds. Then slowly stand up, contracting buttocks muscles (gluteals) as you rise. Do 15 repetitions.
2. Reverse Lunges (for thighs, buttocks)
- Stand behind or beside chair, feet together, knees relaxed, right hand on chair for support and left hand on hip.
- As if taking a giant step backward, lift left foot and place it far enough behind you that you must bend right knee about 90 degrees (parallel to the floor). Lift left foot and slowly stand up, letting right thigh do most of the work. Alternating left and right legs and supporting hand, do 15 repetitions with each leg.
3. Hamstring Curls (for back of thighs)
- Stand behind chair, resting hands on its back for balance. Tighten abdominals to prevent lower back from arching. Place left leg slightly behind right.
- Flex left foot and, keeping left thigh steady and slightly behind right thigh, bring left foot towards buttocks, squeezing your hamstring muscle (the one that runs up the back of each thigh. Slowly lower foot to standing position. Do 15 repetitions with each leg.
4. Pliés (for inner thighs, front of thighs, buttocks)
- Stand beside chair, placing one hand on its back for balance. Place feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and turn toes out at 10 and 2 o’clock. Pull in abdominals and keep pelvis straight.
- Keeping feet flat on floor, bend knees directly over toes until thighs are parallel on the floor. Slowly straighten legs, squeezing buttocks and pushing heels into the floor to really work inner thighs as you rise. Repeat 15 times.
5. Outer Thigh Lifts (for saddlebags)
- Stand behind chair, with both hands on its back for balance. Place feet shoulder width apart, toes forward.
- Keeping pelvis pointing forward (imagine your hip bones are car headlights shining straight ahead), flex left foot and lift left leg (keeping it straight) to the side and slightly behind you. Hold and squeeze buttocks. Then slowly lower foot almost to starting position; immediately rising leg again. Do 15 repetitions with left leg, then 15 with right.
6. Leg Extensions (for front of thighs)
- Sit in chair, stomach tight, torso straight, legs together, toes pointing forward.
- Keeping torso straight, extend left leg, foot flexed, until it’s parallel with chair. Pause, tighten thigh muscle, then lift entire leg slightly off chair. Slowly lower leg to starting position, and repeat. Do 15 repetitions with left leg, 15 with right.
The fifth one didn't have a picture... First time I posted this on my Multiply site, it was 2006, and I seriously can't find the magazine anymore. I hosted the scanned images via Imageshack, and since they deleted all images hosted by users that are not registered, the fifth one isn't showing anymore. Good thing all else are still visible up to this date.
Anyway, these are my morning exercises, but before that, I do some hip and arm sways to open the muscles.